Aviation Scholarship Available for Arizona Students

Last year's winner and Angel MedFlight staff.

Last year’s winner and Angel MedFlight staff.

 

April 28, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

 

For the fourth year, Angel MedFlight and the Arizona Business Aviation Association (AZBAA) have partnered to offer local Arizona students the opportunity to receive $3,000 toward their tuition at an Arizona based college or university. The Scholarship is for students that are actively pursuing a degree in the field of aviation.

 

We want to see your videos!

The scholarship will be awarded in the fall of 2014. To apply, applicants need to submit a three minute video biography.

 

The video should include the following:

  1. What does a career in aviation mean to you?
  2. Share something you have done to demonstrate resourcefulness, creativity, initiative or tenacity to overcome a challenge.
  3. How would you like to improve the aviation industry in Arizona?

 

Past recipients have included Embry-Riddle University and Arizona State University students perusing careers in aviation. All of them share a passion for aviation and a commitment to their studies. According to a recent Forbes.com article, there’s a shortage in the aviation industry for pilots and mechanics. A recent Plane and Pilot Magazine.com article said that exciting non-flying careers, like aeronautical engineer and avionics specialist, are hot aviation careers. According to the article, Embry-Riddle says that “A&P mechanics are being hired at a record pace.” Furthermore, the FAA projects 11,360  air traffic controllers to be hired in the next 10 years  in conjunction with the NextGen satellite Air Traffic Control system being introduced. Boeing’s Current Market Outlook  “projects the requirement for 498,000 new pilots and 556,000 new maintenance technicians,” in the next 20 years.  The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) foresees more than 100,000 new jobs being created through 2025, with the introduction of more Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The future looks bright and exciting for students pursuing a career in aviation.

 

Candidates should submit their video biography along with a completed and signed application, resume and two letters of recommendation: one personal reference (not a family member) and one professional reference from a teacher, employer, or supervisor. Recommendations should highlight the candidate’s integrity, determination and resourcefulness.

The scholarship will be awarded to a U.S. citizen without regard to sex, race, religion or national origin. Scholarship funds will be paid directly to recipient’s college or university.

We look forward to your participation and enthusiasm. For further details got to: Scholarship for Excellence in Aviation

 

Please mail the completed submission to:

Angel MedFlight
attn: Scholarship Committee
8014 East McClain, Suite 220
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

One of the Founding Fathers of Aerobatics to Be Honored

Bob Hoover is known for his straw hat

Bob Hoover is known for his straw hat

March 21, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

 

This month The Wings Club, a global society of aviation professionals and the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) is honoring Mr. Robert “Bob” Hoover. Hoover has done it all. He was a pilot in WWII, a U.S. Air Force test pilot, world record holder and most recognized as an accomplished civil air show pilot. The groups will be honoring him with the Outstanding Aviator Award.

 

Hoover is known as one of the founding fathers of aerobatics. He got his start in aviation by enrolling in the Tennessee National Guard, who sent him to pilot training with the U.S. Army. His first assignment as a new pilot was to test flying assembled aircraft before they were released to service. Later Hoover was assigned to fly the Spitfire and was shot down over Germany. He spent 16 months in a German prison camp until he escaped and amazingly found his freedom when stole a FW 190 and flew to safety in the Netherlands.

 

Hoover has known such aviation greats such as Orville Wright, Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, Jacqueline Cochran, Neil Armstrong and Yuri Gagarin. Hoover also holds the record for transcontinental and “time to climb” speed.

 

Test Pilot

After the war Hoover was assigned as an U.S. Air Force test-flight pilot at Wright Field. There he met Chuck Yeager and was part of Yeager’s flight crew. He flew the chase plane for Yeager’s flight in the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star and was Yeager’s back-up pilot for the Bell X-1. He was a test pilot in the FJ Fury, F-86, and F-100 Supersabre.

Bob Hoover's Aero Commander, Shrike Commander

Bob Hoover’s Aero Commander, Shrike Commander

Air Show Demonstrator

During the 1960s Hoover proposed that he fly the P-51 fighters at air shows. Hoover demonstrated the P-51, nicknamed “Ole Yeller” and later started flying the trade mark plane, the Aero Commander Shrike Commander. Hoover was able to perform all sorts of aerobatic maneuvers in this relatively bulky looking twin piston-engine business plane. He was able to put the plane through loops and rolls. As a grand finale, he shut down both engines and executed a loop and an eight-point hesitation slow roll as he headed back to the runway. One of Hoover’s signature stunts was to do a complete barrel roll in the Commander, while pouring a glass of ice tea from a pitcher. Hoover was the official starter at the Reno 

Bob hover's P-51 Mustang nicknamed "Ole Yeller"

Bob hover’s P-51 Mustang nicknamed “Ole Yeller”

Air Races flying ‘”Ole Yeller” as the pace plane. To start the race, he would pull into a vertical climb and blast over the radio “Gentlemen, you have a race!” Hoover retired from the air show circuit in the 1990s and his Shrike Commander is on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

During his illustrious career, he was awarded the following military medals: Distinguished Flying Cross, Soldier’s Medal for Valor, Air Medal with Clusters, Purple Heart and the French Croix de Guerre. He was also made an honorary member of the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds, RCAF Snowbirds, American Fighter Aces Association, Original Eagle squadron and received an Award of Merit from the American Fighter Pilots Association. In 1992, he was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor. In 2007, he received the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Trophy.

The Wings Club, founded in 1942, is the premiere aviation club in the world. Dedicated to preserve the history and traditions of aviation, the Club provides a forum for discussion and debate on aeronautical and aviation issues. Previous recipients of this award were Patty Wagstaff, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) and the Doolittle Raiders.

Bob Hoover

Bob Hoover

Angel MedFlight congratulates Mr. Hoover for all his accomplishments in aviation and for being awarded the Aviator Award.

New Single Engine Personal Jet Coming Soon

Cirrus Vision SF50 Jet

Cirrus Vision SF50 Jet

 

February, 24, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

 

If you’re a pilot looking to transition from flying a single engine piston plane to a light business jet, the Cirrus Vision SF50 might be the plane for you. Cirrus Aircraft starting developing a single engine, very light jet in 2008. After years of development, the Cirrus Vision SF50 prototype is said to begin flying in March of 2014. Cirrus believes that pilots that currently fly the Cirrus SR22, single engine piston plane and wish to transition into a light jet should be able to do so with relative ease.

 

The $1.96 million Vision will have a Garmin 3000 glass cockpit and an emergency parachute system like other Cirrus models. The Visions cabin holds six passengers and is powered by a single Williams International FJ33 turbofan that produces 1,900 pounds of thrust.

 

Some critics say that with a service ceiling of only 28,000 feet and a cruise speed of 300kt, it’s not as efficient as a traditional multi-engine business jet. The advantage for first time would-be jet pilots is that they don’t need a multi-engine rating and advanced high altitude experience. The Vision only requires one pilot and Cirrus believes its market will be single engine pilots that have glass cockpit experience, looking to transition to a jet without getting a very hard new rating or multi-engine certificate.

 

Cirrus has already started taking orders for the Vision and once the light jet is fully certified in the U.S., you may be seeing them at an airport near you.

 

Air Ambulance Company Checks out Latest Aviation Trends at NBAA13

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Angel MedFlight and Aviation West Charters recently returned from the National Business Aviation Association’s 2013 convention and exhibition in Las Vegas. Our team and 25,000 other attendees roamed the huge convention halls, networking and checking out the latest in business aircraft and aviation technology.

NBAA13 was a three-day event held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which was filled with over 1,100 exhibitors displaying the latest products and services. If that wasn’t enough, attendees could take in the static display of 83 fixed-wing aircraft at Henderson Executive Airport. Another dozen light business airplanes and helicopters were parked inside the convention center.

“Aviation is changing so rapidly, ” says Aviation West Charters Director of Flight Operations, Brandon Kearns. “It seems every six months there are new product lines and technologies. NBAA13 was an opportunity for our company to see what is currently being offered to the aviation industry, what’s the next big thing, what’s the latest and greatest technology.”

static-pano

The static display of aircraft at NBAA13 in Las Vegas

Kearns says attending a convention like this gives us a good idea of what the level of expectation of the end-user really is. “Clients will get on one of those new airplanes and that will set the bar for them. So if you show up with an aircraft that is far below that level, it will be a big difference for them.” says Kearns. In the business of aircraft management, Kearns says one must have a handle on what the “first class is now and where it’s heading.”

“If you stuck around and just had the same old airplanes all the time and said, ‘this is first class,’ that’s great but your first class would never be pushed to the next level. It would never be redefined because you would never see anything else. That’s why it’s good to expose yourself to external audits or attend  events like NBAA13 and find out how aircraft manufacturers are addressing the passengers’ needs.”

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View of the NBAA13 exhibition hall

The convention, which is the sixth-largest trade show in the United States, gave Angel MedFlight a unique window on the business aviation world. Director of Business Development, Chandra Stewart says NBAA13 gave the company a chance “to gather market and business intelligence. Fixed base operators, aircraft maintenance and sales, we looked at how these companies are marketing, whom they’re partnering with and what need they might have that we could fill or how we could get involved with them for building our business base.”

The NBAA is a trade association that represents the interests of business aviation. Founded in 1947, the NBAA establishes industry standards aimed at enhancing safety and the efficiency and acceptance of business aviation.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen chalked up this year’s show as a big success. “The energy and enthusiasm among exhibitors and attendees has demonstrated once again the tremendous value the industry continues to place on this event as premier national and international business aviation venue.”

At Angel MedFlight we make safety the top priority along with the highest level of care and comfort for our patients. The information we brought back from NBAA13 will help keep Angel MedFlight and Aviation West Charters on the leading edge in the medical flight and business aviation industries.

Excellence in Aircraft Maintenance

DChase

Aviation West Charters Director of Maintenance, Dwain Chase

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

When it comes to maintaining a state-of-the-art fleet of aircraft and having that fleet exceed FAA safety requirements, an expert dedicated to passenger safety is needed to oversee the maintenance program.  The combined operation of Aviation West Charters and Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is fortunate to have Director of Maintenance Dwain Chase, who has brought decades of award-winning experience and vision to the company. With his team of expert technicians, Chase has helped Aviation West Charters and Angel MedFlight maintain a perfect safety record, a record that has been recognized with an ARGUS Platinum rating and Stage-1 IS-BAO registration.

To understand Chase’s work ethic and love of airplanes, one has to go back to his childhood. Born and raised not far from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, Chase would lay in his bed at night and listen to the planes running their engines on the ramps. “When the wind was right, you didn’t get the smell from the stockyards, you got the noise from the airport.” On weekends, his father would put the kids in the back of the pickup truck and take them over to the airport to watch the planes land.

As a child he remembers working on cars with his father, who worked as a machine repairman at AiResearch in Phoenix. Chase says his father, “kept the lathes, the grinders, and the machine centers working” at the turboprop and turbocharger manufacturing company.

Chase actually began taking things apart and putting them back together long before he can remember. His grandmother would tell the story of little Dwain resisting a nap, and instead using a butter knife to take the lock assembly off the door in the utility room to go outside. “She caught me and gave me a whoopin’, as they said and sent me back to take my nap.” Later, his grandmother came to get him and told him to put the lock assembly back together because she couldn’t.

Whether he was toiling at his grandfather’s gas station back in Indiana during the summers or working on a farm, Chase was always working on something or fixing it. With his father’s paycheck providing for six kids, Chase says the children were  encouraged to fix things around the house. “But we weren’t supposed to tear stuff apart just to see what made it tick. We didn’t have money to replace the stuff,” he says with a chuckle.

In high school Chase took part in a summer program at AiResearch, working in repair and overhaul.  “In high school I was able to take a trade course as an aircraft engine technician. I’d go to class in the morning up at East Phoenix High School and then we’d go down to Phoenix Union High School for the trade class.” Chase also worked the morning shift at a gas station before beginning his school day . He also worked weekends at Cutter Aviation “just cleaning up.”

In 1974 Chase was given the “Outstanding Aviation Student Award” by Ottosen Propeller in Phoenix. “That kinda was the hook,” says Chase. When he went down to pick up the $25 prize he inquired about working at the company. But Chase says the owner discouraged him telling him he didn’t want to work on just props — but that he’d be happier “doing the whole thing.” That stuck with Chase, who after finishing high school attended Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz., which had an aircraft program.  By this time, Chase had received work experience for going to school and had acquired enough hours to take the FAA engine exam. At Cochise College, Chase says, “All I had to take were the air frame and general parts so I was able to get out of there in about six months with both licenses.”

Soon after, he followed in his father’s footsteps and got a job at AiResearch. He actually worked for the company at the same time as his father but in different departments.  “He was in maintenance and I was in repair and overhaul.” But Chase was “bored silly” with the repair and overhaul job. “It was the same repetitive thing day after day after day” working on jet fuel starters.  From there it was on to Beechcraft in Wichita, Kan.,   working as a delivery mechanic on the King Air line. “New aircraft would come out, they’re sold off the line. They’d come over to the delivery hangar, we’d prepare the aircraft for flight. They’d fly them and we’d work the ‘flight squawks’ off and deliver them to the customer. In other words, they’d work all the bugs out.

Chase’s career path would take him to Swift Aviation where he would revolutionize maintenance tracking. While at Swift, Chase developed an automated tracking program that alerts technicians when an item is approaching required inspection or replacement. This, of course, helped to ensure safety and compliance with FAA regulations. Chase says long before these advancements, mechanics were recording maintenance on little recipe cards, with virtually each aircraft having its own box of cards.

Dedication and inventiveness. While working at Swift, Chase  remembers  spending an entire weekend at home  developing a database for all the aircraft at Swift and a computerized spreadsheet that as Chase tells it, worked off a street light principle. Aircraft that were a ways out from inspection were highlighted in green. As aircraft got closer, the color changed to yellow to remind the technicians that something was coming due. “Then usually in the last 25 hours, it had red block in it so it was telling you this particular item was due,” says Chase. Soon after, the FAA came to examine Chase’s system and to see how Swift was able to track the work in real time. He says he presented the system to them, they liked it and that he’s pretty sure Swift was still using his system after he left the company.

Nowadays, aircraft maintenance management companies like CAMP and CESCOM are working in real time. Chase says, “You can go in and update your information online, it takes it, it accepts it, and you print a new report within five minutes.”

Chase speaks humbly about developing the automated maintenance tracking program. But it’s this vision and inventiveness that led to Chase being named the FAA’s National Maintenance Technician of the Year in 2000. “It was a great honor but I worked around a group of people who have also had that award,” Chase says. “It was almost like a validation of sorts. Not so much to the rest of the peers but for those guys that I worked with that had reached that level.”

Chase has also been named the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association’s Technician of the Year along with the FAA’s Regional Maintenance Technician of the Year.  Not once, but twice the FAA chose him as the Arizona Maintenance Technician of the Year.

For Chase, company achievements trump individual honors. “When (Aviation West Charters) exceeds the expectations of people I get greater joy out of that. When the company succeeds, I feel I’m a valuable part of that. I don’t need it to be about me.  Everybody I work with — I try to help improve them, whether it’s getting them knowledge or gaining them more experience. “

Chase, like Aviation West Charters and Angel MedFlight, always looking to gain knowledge and improve. It’s people like Dwain Chase that help ensure this air ambulance company exceeds expectations and that patients are given the safest and most comfortable air medical transportation.

See more of Chase and Angel MedFlight’s commitment to safety in this video:

Understanding the Turbofan Engine

Turbofan_operation_(lbp)

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Angel MedFlight’s Learjet 60’s are powered by two Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines. Two turbofan engines made by Garrett power our Learjet 35’s. And our newly acquired Cessna Citation X cruises near the speed of sound with the help of two Rolls-Royce turbofan engines. The common denominator here is turbofan.  You’ve seen the word in print before, but if you’re not working in aviation you may not know exactly how a turbofan engine works and why so many aircraft today are powered by them.

To understand the principle of a turbofan engine, one must first comprehend how a traditional jet engine works. First, air is sucked into a chamber at the front of the engine. It is then compressed by an impeller with many blades. The compressed air then gets sprayed with fuel and the mixture is ignited. Those burning gases expand in a combustion chamber and then blast through the nozzle at the back of the engine.  This is where Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of physics comes into play: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When the jets of gas are shot backward, the aircraft is thrust forward.

The turbofan engine works along the same principles of a jet engine but incorporates a large fan in a duct, toward the front of the engine which sucks in air. Where the turbofan engine differs from the jet is most of the air flows outside of the core of the turbofan engine. Only some of the incoming air passes into the combustion chamber. Some of the thrust still comes from the exhaust jet, but the addition of the fan makes this engine much more fuel efficient and quieter.

Aviation West Charters Director of Maintenance Dwain Chase says the turbofan engine “takes air big and wide and compressed and turns it into a skinnier and focused air stream, like an iris.” There’s “cold” jet mixed with gas generator exhaust  producing “hot” jet. The bypass system increases thrust and maximizes fuel efficiency. Chase says the turbofan provides more thrust than a standard jet engine because of the bypass ratio. “You’re almost getting a 3 to 1 advantage over just having the standard duct, the jet coming out the back.”

Chase says another big difference between the turbofan and the older jet engines is the turbofan’s smaller carbon footprint. “There’s more of a complete fuel burn and fewer emissions” with a turbofan jet.  And, “by mixing so much fresh air and getting more power out of the same amount of jet fuel it’s almost like getting better gas mileage in your car.”

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance has an impressive fleet of jets that  keep us on the cutting edge in the air ambulance industry, offering  our patients the highest standard of safety and in-flight care.

Aircraft Owners and Law Enforcement Checks

SECURITY

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

In this post 9/11 era, airports and fixed base operators are more secure than ever. Thus, pilots and aircraft owners must be aware that at any time they may be stopped by law enforcement to inspect their certificates or aircraft. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is a proud supporter of the general and business aviation community and wishes to pass along some information on what pilots and aircraft owners should do if they are ever in this situation.

Nothing is more important than knowing how to handle yourself should you be approached by law enforcement while operating on the ramp of an airport during a flight that is wholly conducted within the United States.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and AOPA Pilot Protection Services advises pilots to “be courteous and respectful, remain calm. In general there is no requirement to answer any questions. If you do answers questions, do so truthfully and succinctly; do not volunteer information.”

The AOPA offers a step-by-step approach on how to respond to law enforcement.

1) It is recommended you ask the law enforcement official in charge about the nature of his or her inspection of your certificates and your aircraft. Inquire as to what he or she is intending to do, why and under what authority.

2) AOPA says you should request to see the lead official’s credentials and any other officials who are present. Try to make a note of their names, phone numbers, badge numbers and the agencies of those officials. But again, remain courteous throughout.

3) You will most likely be asked by law enforcement to present your pilot and aircraft documents. Under FAA regulations, a person must present his or her certificates, authorizations, identification, and other documents required under Part 61 for inspection upon a request by the administrator, NTSB, or any federal, state, or local law enforcement officer.

4) If a law enforcement official asks to search the aircraft or if they state they are going to inspect or search the aircraft and its contents either visually, physically or with dogs — there are a few recommended responses. You can either say, “I do not consent to this search,” or “If you remove or disassemble any part of this aircraft, including the inspection plates, you may be rendering this aircraft unworthy.”

5) It’s recommended that you take detailed written notes during the event or as soon as it becomes practical to do so. Make sure to identify any other persons present who may be witnesses to the inspection and search. You also have the right to record the event with a camera, however law enforcement personnel may object.

6) After undergoing such an ordeal, make sure you are able to continue your flight safely. It’s very important to check your emotional status.

More information can be found through the AOPA and on their website.

Plane Speak at Angel MedFlight

US_Air_Force_TWA

A restored Lockheed Constellation at the National Airline History Museum in Kansas City, Mo.

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

At Angel MedFlight and Aviation West Charters there is no shortage of experts to call on. We are proud to have the best in the fields of medicine, aviation, insurance law and case management. Often it’s just fun to pick their brains and hear the knowledge come pouring out in the forms of stories. Aviation West Charters Director of Flight Operations Brandon Kearns stopped by the business development offices recently and the conversation turned to favorite commercial aircraft.

I happened to be telling Kearns about my first airplane ride as a little tyke going from San Francisco to Orange County, Calif., on an Air California 737. Immediately, Kearns’ eyes lit up as he talked glowingly about the Boeing 737, calling it the most reliable commercial aircraft ever made. “They’re everywhere,” Kearns said. “You can’t go anywhere in the world without seeing a 737. They’re like taxi cabs.”

Kearns says the 737’s dispatch reliability is hard to top. “It’s always been an economical, reliable airplane. The airlines love it. I have friends who have flown it and they talk about how forgiving it is. It’s easy to fly, it’s like flying a truck. You point it, it goes.”

Our conversation turned to the history of commercial jet travel and Kearns talked of the late 1950s and 1960s as commercial aviation’s “romantic era.” He pointed to the late 50s when the jet engine revolutionized airplane travel and how it opened up different markets because of longer-range aircraft traveling at higher speeds.

“I had the luxury of talking to guys that taught me how to fly that were P-51 and P-38 pilots from World War II,” says Kearns. “They came back and flew the DC-3, then flew the Constellation and the DC-6. And then 1957-58 rolls around and they’re flying 707’s.”

Commercial flight was much different decades ago from what it is today. Kearns recalls a conversation he had with one of his former instructors, Jack O’Neill. “Things are so structured and regimented now in terms of how we fly and there are so many airplanes out there. Jack was one of the first 747 captains for American Airlines. He was a P-38 Lightning pilot in the European theater of World War II. Nothing fazed the guy.” Kearns goes on, remembering what O’Neill told him. Imitating his former instructor’s voice, Kearns says O’Neill would tell him, “Ya know…Literally, I’d flight plan with the navigator so that — we’d fly over my house!”

B747-200SF_FE_Panel

The flight engineer’s panel on a 747-200, circa 1976.

Kearns tilts his head back and recalls the FAA examiner who did several of his check rides back in the day. “Capt. Willard Van Wormer. He started at around 19-years-old as a flight engineer on the old Lockheed Constellation back in the late 1950s.”  Automation has largely phased out the role of the flight engineer, but Kearns describes how years ago, the flight engineer would sit behind the pilot and co-pilot with a huge panel of switches and gauges.

“Before automation,” Kearns says, “you had to have a guy who moved fuel, moved hydraulics, moved switches. Now everything’s based on a computer. You say to a computer ‘I want this,’ the computer goes, ‘change this, do this, do this.’  That’s what the flight engineer used to do. He used to move all the switches, he used to control the systems.” Kearns says the flight engineer was like a big machine operator. The captain pointed the airplane, flew it with the co-pilot, but the flight engineer was the one who handled all the aircraft systems. Looking at a photo of an old 747-200’s flight engineer panel shows the enormity of responsibilities this crew member had on the flight deck.

But as the years have passed, it no longer takes two dozen switches, knobs and gauges to handle fuel, auxiliary power, pressurization, air conditioning and the complex electrical systems of an airliner.

At Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance, nothing’s more enjoyable than being able to sit down with many of our experts and listen to their knowledge flow. Whether it’s a flight paramedic, a logistics manager, creative developer, flight coordinator — or in this case the flight operations director, while working at Angel MedFlight, you can truly learn something new every day.

Angel MedFlight Answers: What Aircraft Do You Use?

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Angel MedFlight Learjet 60 Air Ambulance

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

When you choose Angel MedFlight as your air ambulance provider, you are not only putting your trust in our highly trained medical flight crews and experienced pilots, but our ARGUS Platinum-rated aircraft as well. In this edition of Angel MedFlight Answers, we address some of the questions you may have about the aircraft as you consider a medical flight.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance utilizes a fleet of Learjets and soon, the Cessna Citation X for its medical flights. Angel MedFlight is a dba. of Aviation West Charters, which owns, operates and meticulously maintains this fleet of state-of-the-art medically dedicated jets. Two-pilot crews operate all our aircraft.

We have our own air charter certificate (Part 135) and that allows us to control the quality of the aircraft we operate. Our planes have advanced avionics and safety features that exceed FAA standards. On the flight deck,  captains and first officers undergo semi-annual and annual simulator training in make and model aircraft being flown. They each maintain 1st-class medical certificates and complete FAA checkrides.

As you consider an air medical transport with Angel MedFlight, you probably wonder which aircraft will be used for your flight.

A number of factors go into deciding that including the patient’s condition, the length of the flight and the number of passengers traveling with the patient. All of the aircraft are equipped with the same life-sustaining medical equipment and experienced medical flight crews.

How many family members can travel with the patient depends on the aircraft being used. The Angel MedFlight Learjet 35s and 60s can accommodate one to two passengers, while larger aircraft like the longer-range Citation X can seat as many as four family members. The Citation X is the newest member of the fleet and after receiving a number of upgrades and modifications, the airplane is now in Wichita, KS., where it’s  getting a sparkling new paint job.

How much luggage can patients and passengers bring? Because of the amount of space being utilized by onboard medical equipment and personnel there is generally room for no more than two small carry-on type pieces of luggage. Because of  the space limitations, we will make arrangements to ship other luggage and non-essentials for the patient and the family members.

Adding to the patient and passenger comfort, catered meals are offered when there are no diet restrictions for flights 3.5 hours and longer. We will accommodate special diets and special requests. Also remember that the entire fleet of jets will soon be equipped with Wi-Fi  so you can catch up on emails and surf the net during the medical flight.

An air medical transport with Angel MedFlight means you can always feel confident the jet carrying you or your loved one is customized with the patient’s utmost safety, comfort and care in mind.

Always Looking for the Smoothest Ride

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Anyone who has flown has felt the bumpy and nerve-rattling phenomenon known as turbulence. Those who from the outset have a fear of flying are left white-knuckled as they grab the armrests and close their eyes as they feel the slight rhythmic changes in altitude. But if you only know more about what causes turbulence and how pilots deal with it, you will feel a lot more at ease the next time you feel some choppy air up in the wild blue yonder.

First, you should know that turbulence is quite common during flights. But because Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance utilizes a fleet of Learjets and a Citation X, we can fly above the weather and that means a much more comfortable flight for the patient and passengers.

There can be choppy air on any flight. Aviation West Charters  Director of Operations Brandon Kearns says the best way to explain turbulence is knowing that air has the same properties as water. “Imagine you are going down a river. The river might seem smooth and calm one minute, but then there might be a patch of water up ahead that is rippling. This rippling could be due to the river bottom or two parts of the river converging on one another. This will cause the same ‘smooth’ water to now become disturbed. And even though you are just as safe as before, the boat might now hit a few bumps as you pass through.”

Just how common is turbulence? Kearns says it’s an everyday part of the flying experience. “It can be caused by two air masses converging on one another. It also happens when you are flying over mountains and the air at the surface is being forced up the slope and into your path.”

While there are many classifications of turbulence, Kearns points out that pilots know what meteorological phenomenon will cause disruptive and uncomfortable rides for the passengers and will go to great lengths to stay away from them. “Most turbulence is just a rough portion of air that is churning and the aircraft is just passing through,” says Kearns.

So next time your ride on an airplane gets bumpy and you feel some apprehensiveness, remember the science of turbulence and think of Kearns’ comparison to ripples in water. It’s just a rough patch of air and pilots are doing their best to fly around it and make you more comfortable.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is committed to the safety, care and comfort of our patients. Choosing us for your medical flight means state-of-the-art jets cruising at higher elevations and thus creating a smoother flight.

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